In some countries, they raise chickens to eat. And they treat guests with the chicken they raised. To prepare the chicken, the host has to kill and clean the chicken to cook.

But it's quite scary to say to the guest I killed the chicken just before for the cooking. The guest might lose the taste immediately.

Is there a word that is less hostile and more elegant than 'kill'?

I could think of the words 'butcher' and 'slaughter'. But with those words, I tend to imagine those horror movies with vicious killers. (Or is this my wrong imagination?)

How could I express the 'killing chicken' in a less hostile way?

  • I'm not sure what you are trying to say to the guest. If you don't want them to know you slaughtered the chicken, then you would not mention it, even with a euphemism, but if they ask "Where did you get the delicious chicken?" you can say "I farmed it myself" or "it is very fresh because we keep chickens." Jun 18, 2020 at 12:28
  • @WeatherVane Treating the guest with the chicken raised by themselves is kind of showing their care. So they want to mention it in some way. Jun 18, 2020 at 12:31
  • 2
    Well, you can proudly say "This is one of our own chickens and is very fresh. We are serving it especially for you." without going into the gory details. Jun 18, 2020 at 12:36
  • Despatch the chicken. Jun 18, 2020 at 19:25
  • I am finding it hard to imagine this situation: Why are you speaking English? Do you have an British/American guest? If you have a foreign guest and you know that telling them that the chicken was killed for them is "scary" why do you think that it is showing you care? You can't have it both ways! Either it is scary, or it is showing you care. Just changing the words won't change that.
    – James K
    Jun 18, 2020 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


I prepared chicken for tonight's supper.

You don't have to mention kill at all.

  • Although I prepared one of our own chickens for tonight's supper would more accurately convey the overall sentiment. Prepare is a good euphemism, but if you don't add one of our own, it could have been bought at a grocery store, thereby lacking the subtlety of the situation. Jun 18, 2020 at 20:25

The word for "kill animals for food" is slaughter. But this is also used figurative of humans to mean "kill in a especially violent or bloody way". I'm not sure this helps.

Abbatoir workers use "stick" to mean "kill an animal". But unless you are working in a slaughterhouse it would be rather strange.

If you want to say "kill" you either have to use a word that is quite bloody, or euphemistic (like "dispatch" as suggested in a comment) or possibly one could become a bit poetical as in "sent a chicken to the happy pecking grounds." The capacity of English for euphemism is endless.

Perhaps the best solution is that of Weather Vane: "This is one of our own chickens and it is very fresh."

  • This may be a practical answer, but it does not directly answer the question posed about "elegant" ways to say "kill a chicken." One possibility is "dispatch a chicken," or possibly one could become a bit poetical as in "sent a chicken to the happy pecking grounds." The capacity of English for euphemism is endless. Jun 18, 2020 at 20:13
  • I'd already mentioned dispatch/despatch in the answer, but as this is basically a summary of comments, I made it a CW, so I'll edit your comment in.
    – James K
    Jun 18, 2020 at 20:41

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